19 Dec 2012 @ 12:20 PM 

 

Great News!!  I have received conditional approval from Washington State Liquor Control Board to operate a brewery.  WSLCB was a pleasure to deal with. They were very helpful and eager to answer any questions along the way.

 

This letter confirms the Board’s intent to issue a liquor license after all conditions listed below
have been met.

Conditions that must be met before a liquor license will be issued:

• Submit a copy of the first two pages of your approved TTB Brewers Notice.

 

Now it is up to the TTB.

 

 

Posted By: gbrewer
Last Edit: 19 Dec 2012 @ 12:20 PM

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 30 Jun 2012 @ 8:23 PM 

Approved! I have been approved by local government for a home occupancy microbrewery. The process took around two weeks from filing to approval. The application process was fairly straight forward. I had to complete multiple pages of paperwork and pay the application fee. I was asked numerous questions by local county planners after the application was filed. Some of the questions I was asked was what chemicals would I be using during the brewing process, how I plan on disposing of waste water, how I plan on disposing of spent grains and hops, just to name a few.  The answers I provided became part of the approval conditions so it was important these were answered appropriately for my microbrewery.

What’s next? File paperwork for business permits and LLC with Washington State, design accessory building and apply for local building permits, build the accessory building, file application with Washington State and TTB.

I’ve also been searching for equipment vendors of 1.5 bbl systems, kettles, kegs, etc.

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Posted By: gbrewer
Last Edit: 30 Jun 2012 @ 08:26 PM

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 30 Jun 2012 @ 7:41 PM 

After years of home brewing and lots of research, I have completed my first of many applications to start a Nanobrewery on my residential property in Washington State. I use the term Nanobrewery loosely.  Washington State doesn’t actually license a Nanobrewery. They offer a license for Domestic Brewery for production over 60,000 per year or a microbrewery license for production of less than 60,000 barrels per year.  I will be producing beer on a small scale which will definitively be less than 60,000 barrels per year and will qualify as a Microbrewery.

One thing I have learned is there are many government agencies  involved in the process of opening a brewery and  all have different approval requirements. I will be dealing with local, Washington State, and Federal Government agencies.

I am planning on starting a production only brewery on my own property (no tasting room). I have a full time profession and my brewery isn’t planned as being an income source for me for several years. Even when profitable, I have no intent on becoming a full time brewer or brewery owner. My goal with the brewery is to continuously reinvest the money earned into additional equipment to provide growth. Since I am planning on starting the brewery on my own property, I am required to first apply for a “Home Occupation” permit.  If denied, I would be forced to fit into industrial zoning requirements which would not make this feasible for me.

In my area, the legal definition of a  ”Home Occupation” means an occupation customarily conducted entirely within a dwelling and carried on by the inhabitants thereof, which use is clearly incidental and secondary to the dwelling for dwelling purposes and does not change the character thereof.  There are other specific requirements to obtain approval which I have not listed.  I am also aware the TTB will not allow a brewery to operate in a garage which is attached to a home so I will be constructing a detached accessory building in the process.  My application requires a site plan which outlines the location of the accessory building for the brewery.  Unfortunately, I am not allowed more than 400 square feet for this brewery to operate per code requirements for “home occupation”.

 

 

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Posted By: gbrewer
Last Edit: 30 Jun 2012 @ 07:41 PM

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 01 Jun 2012 @ 3:03 PM 

This unit is a 110 volt single stage Love temperature controller which in installed in a quality plastic enclosure.   The power cord is 14 gauge and is approximately 8′ in length.  This controller is rated for 15 amps. The temperature probe is a PTC type sensor with a brass cap. The sensor cable is just over 4′ in length. The brass cap has been slightly sanded so it will fit inside a thermowell if needed. The temperature reading is in Fahrenheit “F”.  This is a single stage unit which can be set to heat or cool.

The side of the unit has two standard 110 volt receptacles covered with an outdoor outlet cover. The power and sensor cable exit the enclosure by way of separate strain relief connectors.

This unit was being used to control the temperature of a freezer for fermentation and has been in service “on and off” for the last year.  It has four exterior tabs on the enclosure for mounting to the wall. It works great and is well built. I like this unit better than the Johnson Controls or Ranco because the display temperature display is large and bright.

I have also used this unit in heating mode to control a Fermwrap Carboy Heater.  *This unit was not designed to power a RIMS tube heating element. You will most likely exceed the amp rating and damage the unit. 

I am selling this unit for $124.00 plus $7.99 for shipping (USPS).   If you are interested in purchasing this unit, email me at eric.knuds@gmail.com.  We can arrange payment via Paypal. Guaranteed to not be dead on arrival.

 

 

 

Posted By: gbrewer
Last Edit: 30 Jun 2012 @ 07:41 PM

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 14 Feb 2012 @ 12:09 PM 

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Posted By: gbrewer
Last Edit: 14 Feb 2012 @ 12:09 PM

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Categories: General Beer Brewing

 10 Feb 2012 @ 10:29 PM 

I’ve tried various methods of adding hops to my boil kettle during the course of the last several years.  When I first started brewing, I was brewing extract beers.  With this process,  I used lots of  hop pellets. With the pellets came the hop bag. Some of the beers required two or three separate hops bags depending on the style and additions.

Soon after switching to all grain brewing I faced a new challenge. I really enjoy using leaf hops for brewing. I also enjoy letting them float in the boil unrestricted.  The problem comes when it is time to transfer the cooled wort into the fermentor.   I don’t want the hop debris making there way into the fermentor.  I found several solutions to work around this issue but I was still faced with lots of loose hops to clean out of my boil kettle at the end of the brew day.

I finally found the answer after reading one of my favorite home brew magazines. It is called the hop spider. For whatever reason(s) you have decided to try the hop spider, you will find this build very simple and inexpensive.  The hop spider allows you to make whatever additions you want to make at whatever time you want to make them. You can do all of this by using only one strainer bag. This is a very simple process. Once the boil is over and its time to remove the hops, You simply remove the hop spider and attached strainer bag. This is incredibly easy to use.

Parts List

- One 4 inch to 3 inch PVC reducing coupling
- One nylon paint staining bag or other hop bag
- Three  1/4″ All Thread” with 6 each 1/4″ x 20 nuts and 3 each 1/4″ wing nuts
- One stainless steel hose clamp that will fit the 3 inch end of the coupling
- Power drill with a 1/4″ drill bit

Start by drilling three 1/4″  evenly spaced holes into the top (4″ side) of the reducer coupling

Thread one of the 1/4″ nuts approximately 1/2″  onto the “all thread”. Repeat this for all three threads.

Place the all thread into the coupling as shown. Thread a 1/4″ x 20 nut onto the all thread on the inside of the coupling to hold the all thread securely in place. Complete this process for all three threads.

You should now have something that looks like the picture above.

Gently place the strainer bag over the outer edges of the coupling. Once in place, secure the strainer by using the stainless steel hose clamp.

The wing nuts are used to keep the hop spider in place. Simply thread the wing nuts onto the all thread until they line up with the edge of your kettle.

You should now have a completed hop spider. Enjoy!

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Posted By: gbrewer
Last Edit: 13 Feb 2012 @ 01:19 PM

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 25 Jul 2011 @ 9:06 PM 

My new beer brewing stand is getting so close I can almost taste the home brew.

All of the hard plumbing of the gas lines has been completed and tested. The gas valve and pilot light works as expected. After I tightened the pilot light compression fitting the brewing stand seems leak free!

I have completed the based for the top tier and secured it in place.

So… What’s left?  I need to complete the design for the easy dump top tier.  I am developing something a bit different than the tipsy dump. If all goes well, it will function a bit smoother.

I need to mount the pump and also intend on adding a longer propane “in” hose.

 

 

 

Posted By: gbrewer
Last Edit: 13 Feb 2012 @ 12:31 AM

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 11 Jul 2011 @ 10:40 PM 

The propane banjo burner and propane jet burner have been plumbed. The main vertical tube is assembled using 1/2″ steel black pipe.  The Banjo burner has a 1/4″ ball valve assembled in-line.

This system is designed for 10 (or less) psi propane to enter the main black pipe assembly. From there, the propane will flow to the Banjo Burner and the Jet Burner. The Jet Burner has a 1/2 psi regulator prior to propane entering the gas valve. (Since the gas valve functions at 1/2 psi) The gas valve is part of the automation system.

It’s getting really close to being completed.

 

 

 

Posted By: gbrewer
Last Edit: 13 Feb 2012 @ 12:31 AM

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 09 Jul 2011 @ 10:08 PM 

A friend of mine wanted me to assemble a temperature control box for his gas valve. He chose the Johnson Control A419 to be the heart of his system. The controller has a digital display with adjustable differential. It can be used to heat or cool and features a wide setpoint temperature range (-30° F to 220° F) and differential adjustment (1° F to 3° F). The temperature sensor is a 1.94 inch thermistor on an 8 foot cable. The purpose of this build is to control the gas valve which fires the burner for the hot liquor tank.

The challenges I faced building this control box was different voltages. The A419 he purchased runs on 120 or 240 volts but the gas valve functions on 24 volts. This means that I needed to power the A419 with 120 volts and power the switched side with 24 volts.

This system was also designed for future additions. The goal was to make any future upgrades as easy to complete as possible. The plan for this box will be to add an additional controller, switches, and LED lights to the front of the panel. The lower portion of the control box will someday house two separate outlets which will run brewing pumps.

This control box consists of the box, a 24 volt transformer, a Johnson Controls A419 120/240 volt controller, two terminal blocks, and wire. Cost of materials is estimated at around $120.

 

Posted By: gbrewer
Last Edit: 13 Feb 2012 @ 12:32 AM

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 03 Jul 2011 @ 3:51 PM 

One of the main components of my mash process is the Tri Clover RIMS tube which I purchased from Brewers Hardware. The RIMS tube contains an electric water heater element and temperature sensor.  Liquid wort will be circulated through the RIMS tube. The BCS 460 will turn the heating element on and off based on input from the temperature sensor.

I have now completed the mounting of the RIMS Tube on my new brewing stand. The RIMS tube is mounted vertically using two electrical pipe clamps. Removal of RIMS Tube for cleaning only requires turning two wing nuts.

The water heater element will be mounted at the bottom of the RIMS Tube.

I also completed the brackets for the Hot Liquor Tank gas valve. The burner and gas valve have their own individual brackets to support their weight. The gas valve is protected by a heat and liquid drip shield.

Stay tuned for the results of the gas line and component plumbing.

 

Posted By: gbrewer
Last Edit: 13 Feb 2012 @ 12:34 AM

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